What is happening at Matthews Yard?

Matthews Yard is changing so that we can deliver a better service. The aim is to provide more value, variety and choice to our customers while running a sustainable space which focuses on the local creative community.

Operational Changes
Matthews Yard will become a community interest company early in 2015. As part of this process we will establish a series of steering groups who will govern and guide us in the future. From programming events, to setting membership fees, the committees, made up of members, investors and advisors, will help ensure Matthews Yard adapts and evolves in the months and years ahead to meet the needs of our community.

Instead of offering food and drink ourselves, we are beginning to work with third parties to meet that demand. We will now focus on managing the perfect space and programming a diverse schedule of events, classes and activities delivered with third parties.

At the same time, we will start proactively incubating some of the start-ups which are based here, empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and community enterprises. TY’s Kitchen and BOBSKI’’s are the first of these.

BOBSKIS - Citizen Advert (1)

BOBSKI’S takes over the coffee and cake side of the business with immediate effect. A joint venture between Saif, Leoni, Robert and Jordan, it will operate with the same staff (Jordan and Rob) but on a more profitable basis. BOBSKI’s will take shares in Matthews Yard in return for a portion of its debt and pay a monthly membership fee to Matthews Yard in return for the services it receives.

BOBSKI’S serves all food and drink items in take-away packaging. We appreciate this diminishes your experience slightly, so we have reduced our prices by as much as 25% to compensate. A latte, cappuccino or flat white are now only £2. Takeaway packaging (biodegradable/recycled/recyclable) means our team will spend less time washing up and more time serving customers. It will significantly reduce waiting times and encourage more of you to pop in for quick snacks and take-away lunches. BOBSKI’S will open from 10am – 8pm Tuesday – Saturday and 11am – 8pm on Sunday.

TY’s Kitchen is owned and operated by husband and wife team Tyrone and Natalie. Originally operating on Surrey street they found trading difficult and have a temporary set-up in the cafe while we build them a more permanent home. The couple serve authentic home cooked Anglo-Indian street food based on recipes passed down through generations. TY’s will initially open from midday until 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Once they have a permanent space in MY, they will look at expanding their hours. We will be working closely with TY’s to help them grow their business in the months ahead.

We are also still in talks with a number of other people with a view to providing other food and drink options. There are opportunities still available in the following areas: wine, spirits, tea or afternoon tea. We are also open to other suggestions.

Apart from food and drink, we will also work with more partners in other areas which focus on our four key brand propositions of eat, drink, work and relax. We will encourage more classes and community groups, creatives and entrepreneurs to use our facilities and will expand the range of services we offer. Board games, books, newspapers and magazines will be made available. An art & stationery pop-up will be put in place, to test demand.

If you have an idea for a start-up or recently founded a business and would like to base yourself at Matthews Yard in some form, then please get in touch – saif@matthewsyard.creativeclusters.net

Physical Changes
In addition to the operational changes, we will also be gradually making some changes to the layout of the premises, expanding the gallery, creating more space for retail trade and pop-ups and improving the layout and quantity of seating which is available in the cafe and other areas of Matthews Yard.

We will be reducing the size of the workspace, but overhauling it completely to offer a more cosy, well equipped and secure space for our users. The reclaimed space will become a small library, to be used for meetings of community and social interest groups like games club, Spanish group, Poets Anonymous, Young Enterprise and similar.

The art supplies and stationery pop-up mentioned previously will be situated in an expanded gallery area, reclaiming a portion of the current kitchen and the hallway used as the existing entrance to the studio. This expanded space will enable more art to be displayed and more artists to benefit from the space. This pop-up will be independently operated, by an individual or organisation with an art background. It will provide a point of presence with specialist knowledge. If interested please get in touch with leoni @ matthewsyard.com

The other major change taking place is the opening up of the original corridor from the cafe through to the workspace and a new focus on this as the main point of access to the studio, gallery, library workspace and Croydon Radio studio. This new corridor will improve foot flow through the premises, improve the safety and remove the labyrinth effect created by the gallery.

We hope that explains some more detail on the changes which are taking place. For updates and more in-depth information please visit our website at http://matthewsyard.creativeclusters.net and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for your patience.

Leoni Descartes & Saif Bonar
Matthews Yard